The power of God Creation shows,
His wisdom Nature doth disclose,
But by th’ Atonement He has shown
His love, which else had been unknown.
When chaos reigned in ceaseless night
His voice was heard: “Let there be light!”
And light, without sun, moon, or star,
Outshone and chased the darkness far!
His hand with beauty decked the scene
Which void and shapeless erst had been!
He breathed on Adam’s cold, clay frame,
And man a living soul became!
Was power exhausted as He stood
And, viewing all, pronounced it good?
Or was His wisdom at an end
When Nature’s laws He made to blend,
And caused the worlds through pathless space
Harmoniously to run their race?
And, though in these in vast degree
His wisdom and His power we see,
They are but glimmers, faint and dim—
All power and wisdom are in Him—
But more His Love could not have done
Than yielded up His only Son.
And why so much?—For nothing less
Could meet His claims in righteousness.
Angels could not for sin atone,
Or Christ had never left God’s throne:
For though they each a life had given,
Till empty were the realms of heaven,
E’en all could not have purged one sin,
And brought the pardoned sinner in,
Arrayed in garments pure and white,
To dwell in heaven’s unsullied light.
Had man but one wrong action done,
None but the Co-Eternal Son
Could for that single sin atone;
And then He must be left alone
To sink beneath Heaven’s angry wave,
With none to pity, none to save,
Till, overcome by Death and Hell,
He conquered, but to conquer, fell;
And in their own deep, dark domain
Must over them the victory gain.
And to His girdle bind their keys,
Ere He their prisoner could release.
Or, were there worlds for every star
That glimmers in the distance far,
And myriad souls contained in each
Whose number thought could never reach,
All burdened with a heavy load
Of guilt, and ‘neath the wrath of God,
God’s Son, upon the altar laid,
For all atonement could have made.
Yea, if for demons He had died,
He would for them have satisfied
God’s utmost claim, and made them meet
Around His throne to take their seat,
Not as before, with wing-veiled face,
But through the riches of His grace,
To rank among that blood-bought throng
Who sing for aye Redemption’s song.
Let none the ransom under-rate,
Or vainly try to estimate
What God in Christ for sin endured
Ere man’s salvation was procured.
Vain were the task to try to sum
The sufferings which would have come
On all mankind lost through the Fall!
Yet satisfaction for it all
God has received; and hence He can
Extend to every fallen man
Salvation—pardon full and free—
Which is his own the moment he,
Lost, ruined, helpless and undone,
Believes on Jesus, God’s dear Son.
The vail within God’s house of old,
That hid the mercy-seat of gold,
With cherubim was strangely wrought,
Which sadly to the memory brought
The gate of Eden, where these stood
With flaming sword lest man intrude,
And showed that Justice veiled God’s face,
And stayed the current of His grace.
But, when the vail was rent in twain,
The cherubim were seen again—
No more a terror to the heart,
But of the mercy-seat a part;
Beneath their wings the sprinkled blood,
Inviting sinners near to God.
Th’ Atonement is the mercy seat
Where God the guilty one can meet,
And show him how his sins are gone,
Through what the Lord of Life hath done.
There Truth and Mercy met together,
Justice and Peace have kissed each other,
God’s attributes are harmonized,
And in His boundless love baptized;
There Justice, which we once did fear,
With outstreached hands invites us near,
And every soul by, sin defiled
May unto God be reconciled.
What means a universal call
If there be not enough for all?
As if the Saviour passed some by
While He for others’ sins did die,
And that, though all are told to come,
There’s but provision made for some;
Or that, in some mysterious way,
The Scriptures mean not what they say.
The mighty work of Jesus scan—
He “tasted death for every man.”
He “died for all” that they who live
Back to Himself that life should give.
He has for all Atonement made—
For all mankind the ransom paid.
God loved the world; and when He gave
His Son, it was the world to save
And though He knew some would not take
Of the provision He would make,
The foreseen choice of self-willed man
Changed not Heaven’s universal plan,
As in the love that moved His heart,
All in the Atonement had a part.
If not, He only mocks their fate
Who presses all ere ‘tis too late,
To trust a work not for them done
To take a pardon while there’s none,
To fly from hell without a way,
Or perish if they disobey.
They never can the sinner reach
Who thus a crippled Gospel preach.
‘Tis he who knows of food for all
That only can afford to call
A hungry world to come and feed—
All others would but mock their need.
O tell the tidings all around,
That every soul may hear the sound—
Th’ Atoning work embraces all
Who were enveloped in the Fall.
To earth’s remotest regions go,
And preach to every child of woe,
Impartial who or what they be—
The rich, the poor, the bond, the free,
That Christ on their behalf has died,
That God with Him is satisfied,
And now is ready to forgive—
The simple terms, “Believe and live.”